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India eases rules in scheme to provide cooking gas to poor people

India eases rules in scheme to provide cooking gas to poor people

FILE PHOTO: A man pushes a cart filled with liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders on a street painted with circles for people to maintain social distancing after a few restrictions were relaxed during an extended lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Mumbai, India, July 1, 2020. REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas

NEW DELHI : India has relaxed the rules of a scheme to provide easy access to cooking gas that will benefit millions more poor people, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Tuesday.

The move could mean an increase in India's imports of liquefied petroleum gas.

India in 2016 launched the Ujjwala scheme, which has provided access to cooking gas cylinders without consumers having to pay a deposit to fuel retailers.

It allowed 80 million Indian women to lead healthy lives because they no longer have to use smoky stoves.

India now aims to cover 10 million more beneficiaries in a second phase of the scheme, oil minister Hardeep Singh Puri said.

India is a net exporter of refined fuels, but a push to expand the use of cleaner fuel has led a spike in LPG imports. The country depends on overseas supplies for about 55per cent of its LPG consumption, official data shows. [O/INDIA2]

Modi said the rules had been relaxed to enable migrant workers to benefit from the scheme.

He said that rather than having to provide proof of their address to obtain supplies, they simply have to declare where they live.

Along with deposit-free access to LPG supplies, the beneficiaries will be provided with a stove free of charge.

Under the scheme, the first gas cylinder is free but consumers have to pay for subsequent cylinders.

(Reporting by Nidhi Verma; Editing by Giles Elgood)

Source: Reuters

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